Portugal…. Luso and Buçaco Forest

We have a long drive from Alentejo to Luso, a famous spa town renowned for its spring water and spa. Manage to ignore our satnav which tries to take us down a 1 in 2 hill! Arrive at the campsite which is almost empty, just one other caravan when we get there.IMG_20180713_202745

Take a walk into Luso which is only about 15 mins away to check out spa etc. Spa turns out to be an upmarket hotel spa rather than the more natural experience we were hoping for so we decide to give it a miss. Enjoy our evening snack of pretty terrible pizza whilst watching car loads of locals turn up at the main square to fill large numbers of empty plastic water bottles with free Luso spring water from a fountain. Luso spring water is famous in Portugal and has a 20% share of the bottled water market…so they are getting a bargain! End our evening sitting outside Luci, listening to music and enjoying our quiet peaceful site with a glass of wine and a bit of stargazing.

The next day we hike to the beautiful Buçaco forest that lies nearby.  A wall was built around a section of the forest by Carmelite monks in the 17th Century and they planted a wide range of native and exotic trees and shrubs. The highlights were the Palace Hotel, a lovely turreted building with formal gardens originally built as a royal summer residence, the Fonte Fria (cold fountain) and the Vale of Ferns which could have been used as a set in a Jurassic Park movie. Final evening was spent watching Enterprise as we were knackered and it’s a little too cool to sit outside.

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